Hands down, the show I am most excited to see launch during midseason is Fox’s upcoming serial killer thriller the Following. The show just looks like it could be absolutely fantastic. The cast looks great and I am really looking forward to seeing Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy playing off one another and their characters seem genuinely compelling. The story will very likely draw in viewers and play into the desires of audiences of other serial killer shows like Criminal Minds, Dexter, etc. And considering the show will be airing on Monday nights it’s not currently competing with any of those shows whose current fans they want to entice.
To be honest the only thing I’m really worried about when it comes to this series is the fact that it’s on Fox. I am jaded when it comes to the network, I will admit that openly. Firefly is and always will be one of my favorite shows and I watched it in it’s first run. So I approach anything on Fox with a small amount of caution and skepticism.
Luckily, Fox has done a pretty decent job of publicizing the show and I think they realize they have a pretty awesome show on their hands.
The basic plot of The Following is that a serial killer named Joe Carroll (Purefoy) who apparently creates a Facebook or Linked In of serial killers around the country who basically are willing to follow his various commands, commit murders for him, etc. Which is a bit of an escalation from killing co-eds in a style meant to honor Edgar Allen Poe. That part of the plot doesn’t seem to have really been explained too much in detail yet in but they can’t really give away everything just yet now can they? Carroll escapes from prison where he’s been on death row and basically goes back to his old ways which puts everyone on edge. Which is quite understandable.
Ryan Hardy (Bacon) is a former FBI agent who was responsible for bringing Carroll in the first time. Basically stealing from the plot of Red Dragon and warping it slightly, they bring him back in from retirement and have him help them try to track down Carroll once again. Just unlike Will Graham, he’s after the actual serial killer he caught and he’s having (or at least had) an illicit affair with Carroll’s wife.
I’m very interested to see how the story plays out. The social network of serial killers is pretty interesting angle and I’m interested to see what exactly Carroll’s plan is for this ragtag group of killers he has amassed while in prison. Similarly, I’m interested in seeing Hardy’s character developed and how the two play off one another. USA Today had a really great article where Bacon describes his character and it sounds a lot like post-Red Dragon Will Graham. And the relationship between the agent and the killer really should remind everyone of Graham and Lecter’s relationship.
It will also be interesting to see how the FBI team reacts to Hardy’s insight and whether or not they welcome him back into the fold. Mostly I’m just interested in Shawn Ashmore’s character but that’s just me. It’s gonna be Iceman and Sebastian Shaw together! It’s almost like an X-Men/First Class crossover.
IGN has seen the premier episode and has a very detailed review of it. One of the things they warn is that viewers who are sensitive to violence and gore may want to avoid the series. In a show about serial killers, people. There will be blood. And body parts. And very likely some pretty brutal murders – which may happen off screen after a few shots of gratuitous violence, torture, or degradation.
I don’t know. I haven’t seen it yet. But I don’t think Fox can get that much over on the censors so we’ll see how much we actually see. Not that I’m a total gore fan.
I’m just saying.
The Following premiers tomorrow night at 9/8 Central on FOX.